A documentary film and a lecture, both addressing some aspect of "sex tourism," highlight the week's events as Eastern Illinois University continues to commemorate Women's History and Awareness Month.
Meredith Ralston, a faculty member at Mount Saint Vincent University in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada, will introduce "Hope In Heaven," a documentary film on sex tourism in the Philippines, at 5 p.m. Tuesday in Roberson Auditorium, Lumpkin Hall, Room 2030.
She will then present a lecture, "Trafficking of Women and Sex Tourism: International and Domestic Perspectives," at 7 p.m. Wednesday in the University Ballroom, located in the Martin Luther King Jr. University Union.
Both events are free and open to the public.
Ralston has been a documentary filmmaker since 1995. "Hope in Heaven," her latest documentary, examines the lucrative and demeaning sex tourism industry in the Philippines. Kiefer Sutherland narrates the 45-minute film, which depicts a young bar girl named Mila in the sex tourism district of Angeles City, once the site of the U.S. Clark Air Force Base.
A member of her women's studies department since 1993, with a cross-appointment with the political studies department since 2004, Ralston's academic interests include homelessness and prostitution in comparative contexts, women's rights as human rights, women in politics and critiques of neo-liberalism and neo-conservatism.